Hobart International Airport’s website was out of action all day yesterday after being hacked and defaced with pro-Islamic militant messages.
The website was taken down three hours after being hacked early on Sunday morning. All day yesterday, the site bore a simple message: “We’re sorry, the Hobart Airport website is not currently operating. We are working to get it back up and running as soon as possible. To check flight times please visit the relevant Airline website. We apologise for any inconvenience.”
The site, hobartairport.com.au, was up and running normally again this morning.
Tasmania Police have handed the investigation over to the Australian Federal Police (AFP) as the airport’s owners review the website’s security, ABC News reported.
The defaced website bore a picture of a masked man carrying a gun and the notation: “Hacked by Team System Dz” followed by the line: “I am Muslim & I love jihad”. Then came a rambling diatribe with references to ISIS.
Police downplayed the severity of the incident, saying the hackers appeared to have targeted the web hosts used by Hobart Airport, not the airport itself. They said identical messages had appeared on thousands of websites worldwide since late last year and no threats had been made towards the airport.
Airport operations were not affected.
It’s not the first time an Australian travel and tourism-related website has been hacked. In 2012, the Tourism Industry Council of New South Wales site’s usual tourism-related messages were replaced with illiterate phrases and strange, creepy images, including a large photo of the Joker, Batman’s nemesis. See: Oz tourism industry website hacked, defaced by mysterious entity
The people behind the 2012 attack seem to have had access to better graphics.
Written by Peter Needham